Last week friday (16th November 2012) i cleared web component developer exam with a score of 91%. Here is how it all went:
1. PREPARATION My knowledge sources were
- Oreily's Head First Servlets & JSP 2nd Edition by Basham, Sierra & Berts
- Servlets 3.0 specification
- JSTL 1.1 specification
- Enthuware JW+ Exam simulator engine
The Head First Book (HF) is still by far the most suited material for this exam in my opinion. It took me from zero to hero. I knew completely nothing about servets & JSP a few months before the exam. I wish there could be a newer version focussing on Servlet 3.0 concepts like dynamic servlet registration, annotations and web-fragment DDs. Perhaps the topic on classic tags can fall off and reduce on the bulky chapter 10. The book content is delivered is an excellent manner with cartoon-like illustrations and friendly style, sometimes controversially bordering on swearing words but i believe the whole point is to keep the reader wide-awake and entertained while driving the points home. This book is a golden gift. It so elaborate on JSPs, JSTL and EL that you hardly need any perusal of related JSR specs.
The Servlet 3.0 spec is so well written with good examples to make up for the newer topics not covered in the HF book.
Enthuware? Well, i think i can define it as the difference between a bare pass and an empatic pass. It was a 20 dollar well spent.
2. EXAM DAY I stopped preparations 48hrs before the exam to keep my brain as fresh as possible. I went early at the exam center before they even opened the gate. I had scheduled the exam for 08:30am because i believe the brain is sharpest in the mornings. However the exam engine could not load due to some reported technical fault at oracle (so said the personvue support personnel). I was offered the option to re-schedule but i turned it down. I just wanted to write that's all. Nothing was going to stop me. Eventually after waiting 7hrs the exam engined downloaded and i was able to write. The outcome? 91% pass
Running off? Lol.. that's what i did with the OCPJP6 exam back in April. For some reason i have encountered the same problem on the two occasions of sitting for the exams at the same test center now. Each time the exam first fails to start. The test center calls Person VUE support desk. Several hours later the problem gets resolved. I'm almost suspecting Oracle shuts out their exam servers to certain regions. Am i the only one experiencing this? Whatever the reason i don't want to go through the same 'waiting punishment' or having to painfully postpone the exam the next time i turn up for business component developer exam. There aren't many Pearson VUE test centers in my region, so option of trying alternative test venues is limited and costly.